Alpha in the Workplace
Be encouraged – run an Alpha course!
Transform Work UK put up a discussion point on the Alpha in the Workplace group page on Linked In, requesting responses as to how people run events within their workplaces.
The result was that there were several interesting replies, both from elsewhere in Europe and from the USA. It was the different and creative ways that Christians reached out to their work colleagues through this form of evangelism that was encouraging.
One organiser of an Alpha course arranged for the event to be held at a local restaurant so that business people from different organisations could be invited.
A similar event was held in a high street coffee shop by another organiser as people were used to going into the venue with the advantage that it was not associated with ‘church.’ This particular respondent found that the relaxed and familiar settings resulted in attendees discussing the issues raised in the DVDs and conversations after the meetings had officially ended.
In the Netherlands, a Christian in the railway industry undertook Alpha courses within his own lunchtime so that he did not need his employer’s permission. Posters were placed in prominent places (in this case, the refreshment points) with the name of the contact printed on them, and the details were publicised on a website that they created specifically for the event. The most important thing that they did was pray, every week, for people to come along to hear God’s message.
Elsewhere, Christians used a multi-faith room within the organisation. The use of this venue meant that they had to get permission from their management so that they would not be surprised by the event. The managers in turn encouraged Alpha in the Workplace as part of the company’s multi-faith approach. The respondent emphasised the point that they did not pressurise people to their beliefs (as they were in a multi-faith situation) so they were reliant on the work of the Holy Spirit. They encouraged people to discuss the issues raised in the open forum in an uninhibited way, praying that God would work in people’s hearts.
More recently, Alpha online has been run by Aviva and also by Sefton Council in partnership with the Office for Nuclear Regulation. These organisations have been amazed at how well Alpha has worked in this format, enabling guests to join both from a variety of locations and from different organisations. One guest escaped her busy job in a children’s nursery and joined in from her car! There is a different dynamic in online Alpha - guests have ‘opened up’ quickly and seem surprisingly relaxed with this platform.
The situations may have been different but the good news of God reaching out to us is the same. There might be that you can adopt or adapt any of the above examples, or come up with solutions that fit your own situation. It does not matter whether you run Alpha in the Workplace, Christianity Explored or any similar course, the most important thing is to tell the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a clear manner.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15